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Las Vegas architectural drawings
August 19, 2010 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Las Vegas as it almost was, as it was going to be, as it never will be, and as it still might.
posted by Joe Beese (40 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fallout Blue...

Wait, these are actual Vegas concept designs? Cool.
posted by ecurtz at 10:17 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Service Unavailable"? I guess this has gotten popular somewhere...
posted by russm at 10:17 PM on August 19, 2010


And once again, all I'm left with is my dreams.
posted by Auden at 10:35 PM on August 19, 2010


Cool post. You can see why some of these ideas were scraped. A Beverly Hillbillies Resort? An Addams Family Casino?
posted by IvoShandor at 11:04 PM on August 19, 2010


Absolutely love it. Great find.
posted by jscott at 11:22 PM on August 19, 2010


Cool site, but I don't get the criticism of the concepts or designs. Las Vegas should have giant moon replicas, hotels shaped like cruise ships, etc., etc. Less tepid "fancy" stuff and more outrageous tacky OTT stuff, please!
posted by maxwelton at 11:52 PM on August 19, 2010


Yeah, the Titanic resort is like all of Las Vegas distilled into one idea. A giant ship in the desert with water fountaining from the lower decks, a monument to folly where everyone tries to beat the odds but they all go down in the end... The concentration of irony would be so great it might actually create a black hole.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:25 AM on August 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


A city with some of the grandest architecture ever known. A city who's paper towel needs alone are an industry that outstrips the gross production and power usage of thousands of US towns. A city that people travel to just to hand over their money in a regulated fashion. Hand it over. Again and again.

In a place too hot to survive. A place with no groundwater. A place with no arable land. A place that cannot generate its own power. A place that has nothing to offer.

Dude, Vegas, WTF?
posted by sourwookie at 12:29 AM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"You guys are pros. The best. I'm sure you can make it out of the casino. Of course, lest we forget, once you're out the front door, you're still in the middle of the fucking desert!"
posted by bwg at 1:27 AM on August 20, 2010


For all the reasons sourwookie lays out, I'm fascinated by Vegas but will never go there. I feel as though you'd need to be a sucker to do so. But I love movies, books, documentaries about the place.

Without wishing to turn this into an ask me thread, I'm curious about what people think are the great Vegas reads. (I've done the obvious stuff like Fools Die and Casino, and some of the insider accounts like the Wynn biography, Running Scared) but I suspect there's got to be other great books about the place. that I've no idea about.

Any suggestions?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:38 AM on August 20, 2010


Any suggestions?

Uhhh, Fear and Loathing.
posted by clearly at 2:36 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


For all the reasons sourwookie lays out, I'm fascinated by Vegas but will never go there. I feel as though you'd need to be a sucker to do so.

Actually, I find them to be precisely the reasons TO go. Make the trip as a sort of anthropological exercise; it's exactly why I went. (Well, that, and Vegas was the final stop in a road trip itinerary whose whole theme was "I want to find kitsch".)

Even if you don't gamble, it is fascinating people-watching, and mind-bleedingly bizarre scenery. I timed my trip to stay with a reporter friend who was covering a convention there (so I could mooch the other bed in the free hotel room); we spent his free time wandering around cracking Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas jokes (his Johnny Depp-as-Hunter imitation is really good), seeing how many ads for escorts he collected each day, and having a daily who's-seen-the-weirdest-shit contest. Because there was plenty of that -- one day we had a toss-up between the FAO Schwartz in Caesar's Palace shops having a display of animatronic teddy bears posed in gladiator tableaux, and...the food court of the New York, New York Casino, which was serious Uncanny Valley territory for two actual New Yorkers.

Although, I did do SOME gambling - sort of; I saved all my pocket change for a month before I left, and just carried it around with me, occasionally dropping a few coins into one of the slots, just to see what would happen. Most often I'd lose, once in a while I'd drop in a quarter and get two back, cash out and move on. I'd brought about six dollars' worth of change with me, and on my last quarter I won fifteen dollars, effectively doubling my money. I cashed it all out and blew it on breakfast the next morning and called it good.

Sourwookie is right, but I'd still suggest going just...to see what it's like. (The Wet-and-Wild they're talking about was one I visited, and I'm sad to hear it's closed.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:38 AM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


This site is excellent, thank you. Last Call by Tim Powers is a good vegas book.
posted by muta at 3:49 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


That sketch for the Stardust sign (the greatest hotel sign evar) would look perfect hanging on my studio wall...
posted by Thorzdad at 4:25 AM on August 20, 2010


Great find.

I'm with EmpressCallipygos. I should hate it but I can't help but love it.

I'd be interested to see a London-themed place and am surprised that 2 versions never got built. They've done a great (and uncannily good) job with Paris & New York, New York.

The foundations for my Vegas love were built by Fear & Loathing and the brilliant Big Deal by Anthony Holden, a great tale of professional poker & Vegas from the 80's, before the game became so widely played as it is today and the World Series of Poker was cruelly wrenched from Binion's.

Re: The Titanic...Vegas authorities refuse crazy schemes? Who knew!
posted by i_cola at 4:29 AM on August 20, 2010


I've used the Vegas airport to start a couple road trips (Southern Utah, Death Valley) and had to go to a convention there, once. I walked down the strip, as an anthropological exercise. It was awash with small Asian men giving out handbills for strip clubs. The next night, I decided to head out and see just how many handbills I could amass. I headed out of my hotel at 9:55pm and started collecting.

Didn't get very far. Apparently, those guys disappear at 10PM, sharp.
posted by notsnot at 4:30 AM on August 20, 2010


the food court of the New York, New York Casino, which was serious Uncanny Valley territory

I was totally creeped out by that the first time I was there. I don't think the Vegas standard of outdoor-lighting-indoors helped, honestly. On a similar note, this might be the worst idea ever conceived.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:42 AM on August 20, 2010


Actually, I find them to be precisely the reasons TO go
Yup, I agree with Empress - you gotta go to Vegas.

We never gamble when we go. Not one penny.
We just go from hotel to hotel on the Strip - walking through the casinos, making our way to the front lobby, taking a few pics and then going back out again.

Many of the casinos have interesting theme-related things to see and do - the Bellagio with the garden and the fountain; Mirage with the Volcano; New York New York with the roller coaster, etc.

Good shopping too, if you like that sort of thing - not on the strip itself, but there are factory outlets close by - 10 min by car, 30 min by public transport.

Then there are the shows, if you like that kinda thing.

Yeah, it goes against everything I try to stand for - it wastes energy, it encourages, feeds and thrives on peoples' addictions, it exploits people of all walks of life - and I will probably spend a couple of hundred years in Purgatory for loving it so - but seriously, you gotta go to Vegas
posted by bitteroldman at 5:50 AM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I used to be fascinated by Vegas and dreaded going there until some friends dragged me a long. I now go 3-4 times a year and I would like to move there some day. Fabulous people watching, so many contradictions, great restaurants, gorgeous spas, and just off teh strip the beautiful, beautiful desert. (I grew up in swampy lowland I think the desert is stunningly beautiful). As for gambling, I stick to poker.
posted by pointystick at 6:05 AM on August 20, 2010


And yeah, I don't really dig on gambling (although I'll play some blackjack and have a few drinks), but Vegas is a fucking spectacle. You might go home sickened at the state of your fellow man, but it's not something to be missed.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:06 AM on August 20, 2010


I spent a week in Vegas and had a fantastic time even without the "adult" stuff it's famous for. The architecture was a sight to behold, the buffets were great, and Blue Man Group alone made the trip worth taking. The various rollercoasters around the city (and on the Stratosphere) were a lot of fun too. That city has something for everyone.

I'm also incredibly excited about the next Fallout game, which I initially thought this post was about.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:16 AM on August 20, 2010


We've been to Vegas twice, and I can't wait to go again.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:23 AM on August 20, 2010


I live in Orlando. Disney World. Tourist capital of the whatevertheheck. Grew up all over here so let me tell you when you say tourist I say wallet. As in, I know what a tourist economy looks and feels like. At least, I thought I did.

I try to explain it to people like this; say at a theme park, the cokes are $4, but the skippy selling it to you is at least supposed to be smiling and making you feel good about paying $4. The hotels are expensive but everyone is warm and encouraging and smiling and saying Yes! More fun! Can we have more money, we'll give you more fun!

In Vegas, I hit, I think, three hotel/casinos total. Even off the floor, the shops, the cash bars, everyone looked at me with "Yeah, stupid. Give me your money. Next."

They're both tourist meccas, and I enjoy both of them in different ways, but Vegas at its heart, the gambling, etc, just feels evil. Biased? Maybe.

Everyone should go at least once. There are some marvels to gawk at. Everyone should also get the hell out of there, too.
posted by cavalier at 7:11 AM on August 20, 2010


Hunter was right: Vegas is what the whole hip world would be doing if the nazis won the war.

Seriously, if you don't gamble then Vegas is WAY better. The food is not bad and relatively inexpensive; there are pricey shows, yeah, but there are also cheap and weird ones that are just as good for way less. And like everyone else, said, just looking around at all times at the casualness of the oddity going on around you at all times is worth the trip. The heat, the slowly drifting herds of bulky midwesterners clogging up the strip, the actual sensation of oppressive security and being watched at all times when in the casinos, the streets paved with porn (literally), the whole gestalt of the place is something so alien to most normal biological impulses (despite the many hookers) that it leaves a deep impression of weirdness in your very cells.

I find that Vegas is great for making me feel better about myself. Cause I WANT to go to Vegas; but some people HAVE to go to Vegas. And I'm not one of 'em.
posted by umberto at 7:17 AM on August 20, 2010


And I think Vegas is crazy: the Titantic? A giant ship floating in the desert, no doubt a show four times a day where a monstrous mechanical iceberg drifts by, grazing the ship and causing it to upend and sink - not to worry: the rooms and lobby are all on giant gimbles, so all you notice inside is water bubbling up around the huge, faux portholes.

And on top, a huge rollercoaster/lifeboat ride. But you don't just get on the boatcoaster: you have to fight off all the other people waiting in order to get a seat; there's no line. And the people who can't force their way onto the boatcoaster get hosed down with icy water (not bad in the desert) until the next one arrives.
posted by umberto at 7:24 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel as though you'd need to be a sucker

Gambling in Vegas is for suckers. And the casinos know it and know how to exploit it. Circus Circus will give hotel guests $40 of promotional chips (statistically expected value $35 or so if bet very conservatively with winnings cashed out as soon as permitted) for $20. I still got greedy and left $40 or $50 in the hole.

Seeing Vegas is fantastic. We were with an infant so we couldn't go to the best shows, I was at a business meeting so only had a day and a half for fun, and we had a budget of next to nothing (see: aforementioned infant), and we still had a blast. The dolphin tanks were wonderful, and we saw free attractions up and down the strip ranging from fun/campy (Caesar's, Treasure Island) to cute (Flamingo, Mirage) to stunning (Bellagio, Circus Circus).
posted by roystgnr at 7:47 AM on August 20, 2010


Hunter had the right approach to gambling.

Beat the dealer and go home rich. Why not? I stopped at the Money Wheel and dropped a dollar on Thomas Jefferson - a $2 bill, the straight Freak ticket, thinking as always that some idle instinct bet might carry the whole thing off.

But no. Just another two bucks down the tube. You bastards!

No. Calm down. Learn to enjoy losing.

posted by Joe Beese at 8:05 AM on August 20, 2010


I've been twice, the second time was on my honeymoon with a wife who doesn't gamble. On the plane ride home, she said, "We HAVE to go back there...SOON!" I do like to play poker and blackjack, but have a strict budget that I set and am disciplined enough to stick to. That's the key. Sure, they got my money, but dammit...that there is the best people watching you'll ever do. The buildings are ridiculously huge and loud and awesome in their "over-the-topness". Hell, the sign for the Mirage alone could be an apartment complex. You MUST go.
posted by Shfishp at 8:07 AM on August 20, 2010


There should be a Las Vegas themed hotel-casino called "Vegas". It would be like New York New York or Paris, a scaled down version of the city with a miniature version of the strip which would also include a miniature version of itself. And inside that you would find a smaller version of the simulacrum. This could go on several more times until you get a cease and desist letter from Charlie Kaufman's lawyers.
posted by cazoo at 8:22 AM on August 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm a little disappointed that the "Vegas as it still might" link doesn't contain any battle scenes from the civil war over water rights that the Southwest will inevitably fight in thirty years.
posted by jackflaps at 8:58 AM on August 20, 2010


Why isn't there a Las Vegas-themed resort? It would feature scaled-down replicas of all the other casinos on the strip, including itself, inside of which are even smaller replicas, etc....
posted by sharkitect at 9:40 AM on August 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


There is a scaled-down Las Vegas-themed resort, with smaller replicas of ...
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:11 AM on August 20, 2010


None of the links are working for me. The first one is unavailable, and the images in other three are all missing. Anyone else?
posted by mudpuppie at 10:52 AM on August 20, 2010


I has to call noscript off on it and then reload the page. I thought it was dead at first, too.
posted by umberto at 11:05 AM on August 20, 2010


I love Vegas. Our wedding with Elvis four years ago was awesome. I was disappointed last summer, though, when we went back to find out that Quark's and the Star Trek exhibit were gone. We found out from the cabbie on the way there. I didn't want to believe him, since it was still listed in our guidebook. Vegas changes fast.

I agree with the other New Yorkers who find the New York, New York casino surreal. Some guy even tried to bum a cigarette while we were there (added realism?).

These links are a treat, especially since a return visit will have to wait another year at least. The proposed World View Towers are a bit unnerving, though. Ditto for the East Village casino, complete with meatpacking district. Nothing says glamour and excitement like meatpacking. (A Vegas CBGB's would be cool, though -- I think there were plans for one, once upon a time).

I don't see my casino idea: The Emerald Palace, modeled after the Wizard of Oz, of course, with Yellow Brick Road casino and Palace spa.
posted by pips at 11:19 AM on August 20, 2010


You can see why some of these ideas were scraped. A Beverly Hillbillies Resort?

The Beverly Hillbillies Casino ain't dead yet. Max Baer (aka Jethro) was planning on building in Carson City a couple years ago (MeFi post), but a year ago he apparently had his eye on a vacant casino in Sparks, just a couple miles from downtown Reno.

Apparently, it's not as easy as it once was for Hillbillies to find a place to settle.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:21 AM on August 20, 2010


This could go on several more times until you get a cease and desist letter from Charlie Kaufman's lawyers.

For some reason I read this as Andy Kaufman at first and thought it made total sense.
posted by cavalier at 11:21 AM on August 20, 2010


PeterMcDermott, have you seen the movie Hard Eight?
posted by puny human at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2010


Ditto for the East Village casino, complete with meatpacking district. Nothing says glamour and excitement like meatpacking. (A Vegas CBGB's would be cool, though -- I think there were plans for one, once upon a time).

The "Meatpacking District", in New York, is actually the site of the ritziest nightclubs -- all the velvet-rope bars and astronomically-priced nightspots are all tucked in amid former meat processing plants that were all clustered in...

....in The WEST Village. So I don't know what the hell they're doing in an "East Village" replica. (shakes fist)

There were indeed talks to have CBGB's reopen in Vegas, yeah. But then Hilly Kristal, the owner, died and that took the steam out of that.

The thing that creeped me out about "New York New York" the most is that they had a few fake "apartment building" facades sprinkled here and there amid the other scenery -- just facades with fake doors that went nowhere -- and I saw that there was a "no menus" sign attached to one of them, that was made from an actual authentic menu from Empire Schezuan in Greenwich Village. I just looked at that and thought "Only about five percent of the people who visit, if that, would understand this reference, and yet here it is."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:24 AM on August 21, 2010


In one window, EmpressCallipygos, there was a For Rent sign. I couldn't help but wonder, How much? (You know how hard it is to find an apartment in New York.)
posted by pips at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2010


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